Ramayana of Valmiki

by Hari Prasad Shastri | 1952 | 527,382 words | ISBN-10: 9333119590 | ISBN-13: 9789333119597

This page is entitled “the combat between ravana and the yakshas” and represents Chapter 14 of the Uttara-kanda of the Ramayana (English translation by Hari Prasad Shastri). The Ramayana narrates the legend of Rama and Sita and her abduction by Ravana, the king of Lanka. It contains 24,000 verses divided into seven sections [viz., Uttara-kanda].

Chapter 14 - The Combat between Ravana and the Yakshas

Ravana, proud of his strength, surrounded by his six ministers, Mahodara, Prahasta, Marica, Shuka, Sarana and Dhumraksha, those heroes, who dreamt only of war, departed, as if in his fury he would consume the worlds.

“Then he traversed cities, rivers, mountains, forests and woods and soon came to Mount Kailasha. Hearing that the Lord of the Rakshasas, eager to fight, full of insolence and wickedness accompanied by his counsellors, had established himself on the mountain, the Yakshas dared not remain there for fear of him. Then they said to each other, ‘This is the brother of our King’ and, knowing this, they approached Dhaneshwara and, coming into his presence, they imparted his brother’s intentions to him. Thereupon, with Dhanada’s permission, they set out joyfully in order to give battle.

“The impact of those valiant troops of the King of the Nairritas was as violent as the sea; and the mountains seemed to be riven asunder, whilst a furious struggle ensued amongst the followers of the Rakshasas and, seeing his army thrown into disorder, Dashagriva, the ranger of the night, after many encouraging shouts, flew into a rage. Then the companions of the King of the Rakshasas of redoubtable valour, each took on a thousand Yakshas. Smitten with blows from maces, iron bars, swords, picks and darts, Dushana, scarcely able to breathe, was overwhelmed by a rain of weapons which fell thick and fast like hail from the clouds. Nevertheless he remained unmoved under the shafts of the Yakshas, as a mountain that the clouds flood with innumerable showers.

“Thereafter, that hero, brandishing his mace like unto Kala’s sceptre, flung himself on the Yakshas whom he hurled into Yama’s abode. Like unto fire, flaming up on account of the wind, consuming a heap of grass or dried faggots which are scattered about, so did he destroy the army of the Yakshas.

“And his ministers, Mahodara, Shuka and the others, only suffered a few of the Yakshas to escape, who resembled clouds dispersed by the wind. Overwhelmed with blows and broken, they fell in the fight, filled with fury, biting their lips with their sharp teeth. And some of the Yakshas, exhausted, clung to each other, their weapons broken, and sank down on the battlefield as dykes give way before a surge of waters. With those who were slain ascending to heaven, those who fought rushing hither and thither and the companies of Rishis witnessing the scene, there was not a single space left anywhere.

“Beholding the foremost of the Yakshas scattered despite their valour, the mighty Lord of Wealth despatched other Yakshas and, at his call, O Rama, a Yaksha named Samyodhakantaka instantly rushed out at the head of a large force. Struck by him in the fight, as by a second Vishnu with his discus, Marica fell to the earth like a star falling from the heights of Mount Kailasha, ts merits exhausted.

“Thereafter, that Ranger of the Night, regaining consciousness, gathered up his strength in a moment and entered into combat with the Yaksha, who having been defeated, fled. Meantime Dashagriva, his limbs loaded with ornaments of gold, silver and emerald, advanced to the very portals of the outer defences and, seeing that Ranger of the Night enter, the doorkeeper sought to prevent him; but the Rakshasa forced his way in, whereupon the Yaksha seized hold of him. Seeing himself checked, O Rama, he was not discouraged and began to break down the door, whilst the Yaksha, overwhelmed by his blows, streaming with blood, looked like a mountain from which minerals are pouring.

“Though struck by the Yaksha with the door-post, that hero was not slain on account of the rare gifts received from Svyam-bhu, and in his turn, arming himself with the same post, he struck the Yaksha who, his body reduced to dust, disappeared, leaving no trace.

“Thereupon, witnessing the strength of the Rakshasas, a general stampede took place among the Yakshas, who, mad with terror, sought refuge in the rivers and the caves, throwing away their arms, exhausted, their features distorted.

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